The Hornets and head coach Monty Williams agreed to a four-year contract extension over the weekend that will keep him in the Big Easy through 2016, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. The 40-year-old former NBA forward enters his third season with New Orleans after enjoying success in his debut campaign and struggling last year in the wake of Chris Paul being traded to the Clippers. With a series of key moves through the draft, free agency and trades this offseason, Hornets executive Mickey Loomis expressed excitement about Williams' ability to develop the young pieces around him into a championship contender.
"He knows and we know that he’s here for the long term as we develop a young team into a championship contender," Loomis said. "I’ve been very impressed with Monty since we purchased the team."
The team should have no problem improving upon its 21-45 record from the 2011-12 season thanks to the addition of eight new players including Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Ryan Anderson and a healthy Eric Gordon, who missed most of last season due to injury. Time will tell how playing in the Olympics and spending time with world-class players has positively impacted Davis' development. With a new contract in place and a strong new ownership group, Williams' attention can be completely focused on getting the most out of his players on the basketball court.
"I’m aware of the work ahead of us, but that’s what we all want," Williams said. "But at the same time, to have Mickey and Mr. Benson step up to the plate and just say this is the guy we trust going forward, they will never know how that makes me and my family feel. That’s a pretty profound statement."